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Additional Iraq constitution committee members threaten boycott

[JURIST] A spokesman for former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's bloc of secular Shiites [party website] threatened Sunday that members of the bloc would join Sunnis members in boycotting the proceedings of Iraq's constitutional drafting committee [official website]. Adnan al-Janabi expressed disapproval of the committee's lukewarm response to the walkout of several Sunni members on Wednesday, following the July 19 assassinations [JURIST report] of two Sunni committee members and a committee advisor in Baghdad. Al-Janabi stated that the continued participation of his group is dependent on response to Sunni demands for an international investigation into the killings, and a greater Sunni role in drafting process. Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari made it clear Sunday that the constitution drafting committee is committed to completing a draft before the August 15 deadline with or without Sunni participation. Zebari told reporters [Reuters report] that it is in the best interest of the Sunnis to participate if they want the new constitution to "reflect their hopes and ambitions”. Some observers fear that a Sunni boycott joined by other groups in the final stages of the drafting process will undermine the legitimacy of the document, scehduled to be submitted for ratification by the Iraqi electorate in October. Reuters has more.

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